By Adama K. Jallow
Lamin D. Sonko, a sign language interpreter who provides sign language interpretation service during QTV news has thanked QTV and United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) accelerator lab for supporting the night news interpretation.
The sign language night news interpretation by Mr. Sonko is the first in the history of the country and has been welcomed by The Gambian Hard of Hearing community.
In an interview with this medium, Sonko who works for The Gambia Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (GADHOH) said the news sign language interpretation has impacted the lives of Gambian Hard of Hearing community positively.
Sonko who is described by many as the best sign language interpreter in the country also said that, some of the testimonies he got from hard of hearing people is that for 55 years they are finally considered “thanks to QTV and UNDP accelerator lab.”
He explained that, QTV provided the inset box for the night news interpretation and is very much inclusive while UNDP accelerator lab is supporting the payment of the night news interpretation.
“We the interpreters association and the hard of hearing community in the country are thankful to QTV and UNDP accelerator lab for the initiative,” he went on.
He further explained that “some hard of hearing people said prior to the development when news was going on particularly interesting news when they ask their family members to interpret it to them, they tell them to wait until the news is done. By the time the news is over and their family members are explaining to them, they do not get the information clearly because by then the news has already passed”.
Hard of Hearing people, he said, now understand what is going on in the country and this has resulted to them voting in their large numbers, as they are aware politically, on sports, health, education and other development issues.
“During the peak of the Covid-19 they also said that they got a lot of information on how to protect themselves and their families. Most of them did not also initially agree to take the vaccine but through the sign language news interpretation they later took the vaccine after knowing its importance,” he revealed.
Mr Sonko therefore acknowledged that the development has shows that the human rights of Hard of Hearing people in the country are now considered.